How Vegans Might Seize Power & Veganism Can Become a Social Weapon

Posted by on April 11, 2012

“From 1975 – 83  I watched as gay men bought up property after property in the Hollywood/L.A. area. As they purchased these properties they rented to their gay friends, pooled their money with others to buy more property and the area’s homophobes moved out as a result of their takeover. This happened within a relatively short span of time. Now West Hollywood’s City Council is comprised totally of gays and gays are on the boards of the L.A. City Council, Santa Monica, etc. — in other words, they are in positions of power and control all over L.A. County.  Asians [and other minorities] have done the same thing — pooled financial resources, bought land, moved their relatives and friends over, purchased businesses and then took over entire cities and their local governments.” -Anonymous

by Priya M. Menon (Times of India)

CHENNAI: When Nirmala Narayan decided to buy her own house in Chennai, she went looking for a vegetarian-only apartment complex. “I am a vegetarian by choice. I cannot bear the smell of fish or meat and would prefer not to have non-vegetarian neighbours,” she says.

It didn’t take Narayan long to zero in on an all-vegetarian block coming up in Vepery. A number of builders in Chennai are promoting vegetarian-only apartment complexes. Other builders are setting apart certain blocks or floors for vegetarians. Suresh Jain, managing director of Vijay Shanthi Builders, has launched two vegetarian-only apartment complexes in the city.

“There is a preference among people who are vegetarian to have their own societies and live together,” says Jain, who made a commitment to promote vegetarianism after sponsoring the regional conference of the Indian Vegetarian Congress a year and a half ago.His company has two ongoing projects: Mystiq at Purusawalkam with 12 apartments priced between Rs 2 crore and Rs 2.5 crore, and Rainforest in Kilpauk with 16 apartments priced upwards of Rs 4 crore. Both projects will be completed in eight months. “We have sold 90% of the flats at Rainforest and 70% of Mystiq,” says Jain, whose other projects don’t have any such specifications.

Another property developer, Alliance Group, has set apart vegetarian floors at Orchid Springs, an upcoming residential project in Anna Nagar.

“We have set aside 44 units for vegetarians and 70% have been booked. We are trying the concept since we got a number of requests,” says B Krishnakumar, sales head.Builders specify in the booking form that prospective owners should be vegetarians. “We inform people when they enquire about the property and put it down in the booking form,” says Krishnakumar. Vegetarianism is also part of the housing society rules. “Even if an owner wants to rent the property, it has to be to vegetarians,” says Jain.

Though builders are now promoting vegetarian-only apartments, the city has always been home to vegetarian enclaves and communities that shun meat and eggs, says Nanditha Krishna, cultural historian and writer. “Places like Georgetown, Mylapore, Mambalam and Sowcarpet have always been vegetarian strongholds,” she says. “Communities such as Brahmins and Vellalars, as well as Gujaratis, Rajasthanis and Marwaris are largely vegetarian,” she says.

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Last modified on April 11, 2012

Categories: Animal Liberation, Tactics & Strategies, Veganism

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9 Responses to “How Vegans Might Seize Power & Veganism Can Become a Social Weapon”

  1. Ruth Eisenbud Says:

    Thank you for posting this information…

    It shows what is possible when religion emphasizes compassion.

    I have a friend from jaipur. He told me that when a restaurant serving meat opened in his neighborhood (while he still lived in india), it was burned down by hindu activists… Vegetarianism is very important in to jain and some hindu communities…

    something to consider… when religion promotes dominion… the stench of meat is everywhere.

  2. Negotiation Is Over Says:

    when they use the term “vegetarian” in india, do they mean “strict vegetarian” (i.e., vegan)?

  3. Ruth Eisenbud Says:

    Traditional vegetarianism in india excludes all animal flesh and eggs…

    There is a strong push from jain religious leaders for all jains to become vegan. At my jain center many coursed celebrations are completely vegan, though sometimes there is a smal % of dishes with dairy… I know many who are becoming vegan…

    The husband of a hindu friend asked me about becoming vegan because he heard about the terrible cruelty of the dairy industry. He is already vegetarian… In general there is a greater awareness of compassion issues among jains and educated hindus…then in those who have been taught they have the right to kill animals for their gratification…

    I understand thei importance of complete veganism..That is what I am.. On the other hand if people did not eat meat there would be no veal calves… That is not an excuse and indian vegetarians must move to becoming vegan. Still I live in a building with mostly dominion occupants. The stench of meat cooking is horrible.

    The next national jain conference is scheduled to be completey vegan.

    I would say that veganism is taking hold more quickly in the jain community than veg/vegan is in domminion communities…

    At the very least there is no disgusting smell of cooking events I attend.

  4. Nancy Says:

    No offense, but if they’re still eating dairy that is the same as a meat eaters since the male calves become veal and the dairy cows are eventually killed for meat too. What’s the point in choosing one kind of exploitation over another? Personally, I think it’s best not to segregate vegans from the rest of society in any way so that it is mainstream.

  5. Brennan Browne Says:

    The word “segregation” connotes forced separation. However, there are a multitude of examples of immigrants choosing NOT to assimilate into cultures other than their own in the U.S.

    We are less a “melting pot” and more a patchwork of cultures. Little Havana, Chinatown, Little Italy, Koreatown — the list of those choosing not to assimilate is as long as my arm.

    The benefits are many: one’s culture/core beliefs remain intact; financial help is available to buy homes and businesses because immigrants loan money to their own; there is political strength /power in numbers as these citizens occupy their own territories/cities and control city councils, mayoral seats, etc. They build a solid power base and therefore have a say in the laws which affect them.

    This is EXACTLY what vegans need to do in order to gain political power. True political power / social change starts from the bottom up, never from the top down. Immigrants recognize this as have gays. It’s time vegan ARAs did too and began utilizing this same social model to build political clout.

  6. Brennan Browne Says:

    I should have said that true social “progress” comes from the bottom up, never the top down. Obviously, the populace is continuously manipulated culturally/socially for the exclusive benefit of the elites at the top, which is the very reason we have digressed into a sociopathic society.

  7. Ruth Eisenbud Says:

    No offense taken, but it is a bit disingenuous to claim that cultures which have not eaten meat for thousands of years are on par and the same level with cultures where obscene amounts of animal flesh are indulged in to celebrate religious holidays, regular meals, picnics, barbecues. Though vegan is the ideal, consider that if every one in the USA became vegetarian there would be no veal calves.
    Change will come from a small dedicated core that is uniequivocal about compassion – that animals and humans are equally entitled to their own lives. In dominion nations animals advocates who express this view are marginalized and mocked by society at large, even by so called welfare organizations. Unconditional compassion where ahimsa has taken root.

    The jain ideal, as tradition in india, though jains are a small minority, has had broader implications for society at large…so that broad based compassionate legislation is possible. Such legislation is not possible when dominion is the law of the land.

    That Jains have maintained their lifestyle is nothing short of miraculous, not the violent vengeance filled miracles of the bible, but the sustained belief that all life is sacred, carried forward from one generation to the next.

    Where ever the source of a sustained compassionate lifestyle exists, it must not be dismissed simply because it is not the way we would do it. I am a strong believer in results…and evidence rather than theories…

    Jains did not produce veal or foie gras, these attrocities are a result of man’s tyranny over the animals. with t he blessings of genesis.

    The results obtained when ahimsa is a principle of religion or a lifestyle speak for themselves.

  8. Ruth Eisenbud Says:


    I agree, it is every important to build vegan communities with political power…

    As random statements by compassionate individuals in socliety at large are easy to dismiss… a solid comnunity is an important step forward.

  9. Rebecca Says:

    Ruth says…I understand the importance of complete veganism. On the other hand if everyone stopped eating meat there would be no veal calves.
    Call me a dunce but I don’t get this statement. Isn’t this what we want? No more veal calves? Or are you saying abrupt conversion to veganism would mean extinction of some animals?

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